Well, that was fast. We reported that registration was open for Google I/O this morning at 7 a.m. PDT. Last year, the tickets sold out in less than an hour. This year the tickets sold out in 20 minutes.
Google I/O has officially sold out! It took just a bit over 20 minutes! (We were experiencing 6,250 qps load on our servers at 7:01am!)
While we’re overwhelmed with the interest and enthusiasm around Google I/O, we know it can be very disappointing and frustrating when an event sells out this quickly.
So here is what we are going to do:
1) Keynote will be streamed live
2) All key sessions will be streamed live
3) All session videos will be available after 24 hours
4) Google I/O Extended viewing parties will be happening all over the world
So, if you weren’t able to land a ticket today, see you at I/O Live or one of our Extended locations in person!
As Network World points out, this didn’t sit well with many developers who were there at 7 a.m. hammering the servers to get a ticket. They feel that the ticket registration system is rigged and that Google isn’t properly serving the development community.
What may be pushing some of the negative sentiment is that ticket scalpers are already on the scene. This is a big event and they always come out of hiding to perform their dirty deeds. It always happens and it’s hard to combat the move.
The only ticket for Google I/O available on the Ebay marketplace right now is going for $2,700, a $1,800 markup. There will probably be more listed as the day goes on and they will be bought. People are that desperate for tickets to events like this. At least Google is offering live streams for all of the events, even if it doesn’t calm down anyone.
While most of the comments are full of crazy conspiracy theories and people claiming Google is handing out tickets based on Google+ profiles, there are few level-headed responses from developers on how Google could do this better. Here’s one from Nate Thatcher, Xima Software, that particularly stood out:
I might be missing something here but it really seems to me like Google is missing the boat with Google I/O. Who is the target audience for this development conference? Developers. Who pays for the developers to go to conferences like these? Employers like me. Who wants to stop investing time, money, and training into platforms controlled by a company that jerked me around this morning? Me. Look, Google does a lot of things really well but attracting and retaining 3rd party development firms to their platforms appears to me to be a weakness. It was stupid that Google made each of my developers try to register and pay for their conference individually rather than letting my company register our developers all at once. It is stupid that Google is turning away conference participants that legitimately want to participate and provide mutual value within Google’s platforms. In what world does it make sense for a company to be turning away people who are camped out waiting to give them $900? The only thing that would make any of this make sense to me is if Google is losing money on Google I/O. That would explain why the tickets are capped so far below the actual demand. That would explain why they doubled the price this year. That would explain why they turned down people wanting to give them money. That would explain why so many non-developer freeloaders registered with the intent to sell the SWAG from the conference for more than they paid for the ticket. Google, get your act together and stop jerking your 3rd party developers around. We are struggling to justify investing in your technologies when we can’t even get a spot in your conference.
It’s highly unlikely that Google rigged the ticket registration. Ticket sell out and when the servers are being beaten like that, even people who register at the start aren’t guaranteed anything. Thatcher does have a point, however, in that Google could work harder at making the event more developer focused instead of a party full of “swag” that attracts scalpers.
What do you think? Should Google change the way people register for I/O? Let us know in the comments.